Have you or someone you know been told you have a disc injury? Perhaps you've been told you have degenerating discs, or a bulging disc or a herniated disc.
In this article I want to discuss what spinal discs are and how you can safeguard them from injury. Firstly, discs are a cartilage-like substance that separates the bones of the spine that serve a shock-absorption function. Discs help distribute the weight of gravity and reduce the overall stress to other tissues in your spine including bone, joints, muscles and ligaments. The space that discs create between the bones also provides a path for the nerves that leave your spine to exit freely.
When discs degenerate, or when they start to bulge or herniate, they can put pressure on the nerves that exit the spine. When this happens, you can experience symptoms like numbness and tingling, weakness or even sharp, shooting pains. Depending on which disc is damaged and the nerve that is involved, you may notice these symptoms in different parts of your body. For example, sciatica is numbness, pain and tingling that can occur when a disc is putting pressure on the sciatic nerve that runs down the back of your leg.
Damaged discs in the neck can cause the same symptoms going down either arm into your hand. A recent case study revealed the best approach for disc injuries. A woman who suffered for months with numbness, pain and tingling going down her right arm first tried medical treatment and physical therapy. She did exercises and was prescribed steroid medications and underwent injections to try to reduce the irritation to the nerve. This approach provided her no relief. After commencing chiropractic care she noticed dramatic improvement in all of her symptoms.
The reason chiropractic “worked” is because discs most often are damaged from longstanding misalignment. When your spine is misaligned it puts extra stress through certain discs in your spine and they degenerate faster. The only way to reduce the nerve pressure is to improve the alignment that is damaging the disc and irritating the nerve. Medications may temporarily relieve the pain but the condition will always get worse until the subluxation that is causing the damage is corrected.
Do you know somebody with a disc problem? Make sure you share this article with them so they can start getting the care that is actually going to correct the cause of their problem.
Have an amazing week!